It’s been a long day. You leave work late. You even brought some work home. A switched on company sent you a message a little while ago saying it’s ‘two for Tuesday’. We’ve all been there. We’ve all just wanted to stuff our face with pizza. For days like that, when it’s really hard to resist, I have a few recipes up my sleeve that are quick, easy and totally delicious. This pastry pizza is one of my favourite weeknight wonders.
Sure, it’s not a pizza. I love pizza, I’m not going to pretend it’s more than just a catchy title designed to make me – and maybe you? – think that maybe it’s fine to make it yourself instead of opening up that app on your phone and placing an order.
This recipe is pretty quick and easy too. Normally I’d say that’s a bonus, but when you’re tempted by takeaway, it’s really an essential. I’d always say you should make your own pesto – here’s how to make pesto, if you need a hand – but I don’t judge. If you’re looking for a shortcut, a tub or jar you pick up on the way home will do just fine.
You could also make your own puff pastry; but let’s be honest, life is far too short.
For my version I used cherry tomatoes and red peppers – partly for the colour, partly because it is what I had in my fridge. You can put virtually any topping on it – whether you’re in the mood for pepperoni, 17 cheese or maybe even roasted vegetables. Just for goodness sake avoid ham and pineapple, we all know it’s just wrong.
Pastry pizza is just all sorts of amazing, and whilst it’s not exactly as healthy as a bowl of leaves, it’s certainly going to be better for you than the takeaway you were otherwise going to get. Added bonuses?
- it’s got cheese on it – always a plus, and you can as much as you like because you’re a grown-ass adult
- there’s so much colour on one plate, it’s a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds
- you can use pretty much whatever you have in your fridge
- crisp, flakey, golden puff pastry is one of life’s simple pleasures
This pastry pizza is a staple of my weeknight wonder dinners. There’s never not a good moment for it. A normal-sized 375g pack of ready-rolled puff pasty serves four, with a salad.
- 1 pack of ready-rolled puff pastry (usually about 375g)
- 4 tbsp pesto
- 10-15 cherry tomatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 1 clove of garlic (if you are not using homemade pesto)
- 1/2 a red onion
- 1/2 ball of mozzarella (or treat yourself, use a whole one!)
- salt and pepper
- basil leaves to decorate (optional)
Preheat your oven to 200ºC and put in a pizza stone to heat up.
Chop the vegetables you are going to put on the top. Cherry tomatoes will be in half, usually, and pepper strips about 5mm wide.
If you are using onions you will want to chop these really thinly so they cook down whilst in the oven – no one wants raw onion on a pizza. Crush and chop garlic, if using.
Unwrap your puff pastry and roll it out on to a lightly floured chopping board (this makes cleaning up easier). Use the tip of a sharp knife to draw a rectangle so that its sides about 1cm in from each edge of the pastry. This should be scoring, not cutting all the way through.
Spread your pesto across the whole of the inner rectangle – you want the 1cm edges to puff up – then layer on your onion, tomato and pepper. Tear your ball of mozzarella up, scattering it evenly over the other layers. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Bake on the pizza stone for 20-25 minutes until the edges of the pastry have risen and are golden. Slice and serve immediately.
If you’re serving this up for friends and want it to look extra special, you can egg-wash the pastry edges so it looks really glossy, but I don’t tend to do it when I’m in a hurry.